Before I could run I had to fall in love again…

I used to think a 5k was easy. Let me be honest.  I used to think a 5k was “too short” or in other words beneath me as I was a more “accomplished’ runner and did 10k’s and half marathons and had aspirations to do a full marathon.

And then I stopped running.

I stopped running for a variety of reasons.  It wasn’t intentional.  I broke my wrist in April when I fell during my attempt to do a triple toe loop at the ice rink.  Translation: Tried to  complete the last lap around the rink after my lesson and lost my balance.

After that aside from the fact I really didn’t want to jostle my broken wrist I also had a great fear of falling and breaking it again although with a plate and 8 screws in it that was highly unlikely.

Then there was our incredibly hot summer.

I tried.  I went out for the occasional run and would start out like a shot and be winded halfway into the first quarter mile and feel discouraged and out of shape.

So I did other things like the elliptical, biking and hiking but I missed running.  I really did.

What stopped me in the summer ( the weather) has been calling to me on these bright fall mornings.img_1346

I went out this morning.  I ran but this time instead of starting out like a shot I decided to do an easy pace. Laughing I remembered a running shirt I saw that said “I run like a turtle, slow as shell”   Yup that would be me but it felt right and I quit beating myself up for not doing it faster or longer.

In the words of Forrest Gump: I just felt like running! Click To Tweet

It was a whopping 1.25 miles.

I’m proud of this “short” distance. I did it because I wanted to get out and celebrate the nice weather, get some exercise and find the joy in running again.  Not to train for a race, go faster, or even to check it off my daily to do list.

I can’t even remember why I started running but somehow the pleasure of just being out there got lost in the “shoulds”.  You should do a faster pace, you should do a longer run, you should push yourself.

All those “shouldings” on myself sucked  the pleasure out of running and made it another chore on my “to do” list.

The other “aha” I am having is that I need and want to do this for myself.  Just me.  I will still do some “races”.  I love to be with the other runners and its a bonus if there is some “bling” at the end but I only do the ones that I find fun.

Say “Hi” if you do see me at a race..I’ll be the one the one with the big grin on my face because I fell in love again with running.

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He didn’t have me at “Hello”

The things we nurses see could fill a few books with lots of stories left over. Most are humorous,some tragic and some jaw dropping.

I often see funny things on the internet about the life of a nurse and they are so true.  We wring our hands if our patient hasn’t peed in the last 8 hours all the while forgetting we haven’t peed in the last 12 hours.

My hospital friendships are the best.  We see and do things together that are unimaginable. I am fortunate to work with a group of supportive nurses and rarely go down the hall without being asked  “Are you doing okay?”  “Do you need anything?” even when they themselves are running around like crazy.

And yet we get jaded. I am taking liberties saying “we” but I know it is true.  I work with new Moms and newborns.  It is the best job ever and yet I do have patients that test my limits of being gracious and understanding.  I know I am not alone.

And then out of nowhere a patient or their relative touches my life in such an unexpected way that I wake up at 4am on a Saturday morning and know I have to get it down on paper.

I rounded the corner of the hospital hallway in my usual brisk pace when I am on a mission to get something done.  I almost run smack dab into this tall guy.  First thing I notice is his long scraggly beard with the middle of it confined to an 8 inch braid complete with pony tail elastic around it.

He says “excuse me” and I do the same all the while parking the thought of “strange” in my head and I continue on my mission to complete a task.

Fast forward as I am rounding on my patients.  There he is again.  He is the father of a newborn.  The braid from the beard is gone, he smiles and is very quiet and I get my tasks done.

Like I said “He didn’t have me at “hello”…  and yet there was something about him that stuck with me.

I sat down to chart and somehow this patient came up and my fellow nurse said..”that Dad has the most beautiful blue eyes”!

Shame on me..I had not stopped long enough to notice or to even take the time to have more than a few words.  I silently told myself to slow down.

As my shift progressed I noticed little things about him.  He was exceptionally kind to all those around him, he was gracious and always polite.  He went out of his way to help us with his girlfriends’ care and the baby.  He never expected anything from us and was exceedingly grateful for whatever we did.

He was genuine in a way that I rarely experience.

So I mentioned it to my friend.  She went onto to tell me about how kind and helpful he was to her (the nurse) as his baby was being born.  Before I left, the nurse who took over their care came out of the room and just exclaimed “What a nice guy!”

It’s not that we don’t have nice families and patients all the time but there was just something about this fellow.  I could tell this was his essence.  He wasn’t buried in his phone, or attached to the T.V. or trying to make us laugh. He was totally present, paying attention and helping out when he could with the little things.

He was just being himself.

He made a difference just by being who he is and I am a better person for it.  He touched my heart  without knowing it and he won’t be forgotten.

So no he didn’t have me at “hello”.  He wasn’t suppose to endear me with his looks, or anything superficial.

He did it in a better way.

He did it with his kind and loving spirit.

 I know there are angels on earth that are here to teach us.  I think he just may be one of them.

Clouds

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How my exercise “cheat” turned awesome

So I have to admit that this summer hasn’t been the best for me on consistency with my running or any kind of exercise.  Not that I haven’t been active.  Between hanging out with my very active 6 grandkids, running up and down the halls at the hospital, yard work and my dog I haven’t exactly been sitting on my keester.

HOWEVER…I did promise myself I would get more consistent with my running.  I even signed up for a marathon ( in a moment of weakness) which will now be a half marathon and if I don’t get myself out on the road it will be a very expensive 8k.

That alone will get me back on the road.

Well that and the better temps and lower humidity this fall. 🙂

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Still I didn’t want to be a total slacker. So one night around the beginning of July I was already in  in bed and realized I hadn’t kept the promise to do something everyday in the way of exercise.

I really wanted it to be something along the lines of running, or biking.  Something aerobic.  And well at 11 o’clock at night the thought of that was way too much..not going to happen. So….

I hopped out of bed and did 25 push ups.  Let me clear.  25 girly push ups.  Hey at least I did it.  AND I kept on doing it.  It was probably the easiest habit I started and kept!   EVER!  I have no idea why but it stuck.  Not that there weren’t more than several days where I forgot and had to hop out of bed to get them in but I did them.

I’m still doing them. Nobody is more surprised than me!

So it wasn’t what I thought I would be doing but it was a great compromise.

If you made a promise to yourself and it’s not “looking” like you thought it would it’s okay.  It’s more than okay if you found another way to get from here to there.

I’m back to running but still doing push ups.  The push ups are an added bonus.  Feel free to stop by and see the gun show…I am TOTALLY kidding on that one!!

As always…Keep Triing!  

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Running on Wisdom

So here is the best thing about running at my age.  I can run with wisdom.  I am not trying to be first, not trying to be the fastest, or do the longest run.  I am doing it because, well because I can.  As the saying goes ”

“Today I can run.  One of these days I will no longer be able to run.

Today is not that day”

So as I wrote earlier ( catch it here ) I had to start over with my running.  Well my running endurance and building up my distance.  Kinda bummed about it but it is what it is.

Yesterday I woke up after a very long day on Wednesday and a crappy nights sleep.  I wanted the number of the Mac truck that hit me.  I felt beat up.

So I gave myself a break and didn’t run.  No guilt. No “I should have gone running.”

Nope.  I just knew it was ok to take a day off.

WHAT??  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

I know people that would think this is unthinkable and unacceptable.  You just have to get out there no matter what.

Too bad.  Would music be music without the spaces between the notes?  Would you be able to read this without the spaces between the words?

So it goes with running or anything else.  Rest is part of exercise. Rest is part of being able to do what we want to do.  Rest is as IMPORTANT as the activity.

OMG

Quick..some people are going to need CPR over this one.

Okay..yes someone famous said ( Einstein maybe?) “That an object at rest stays at rest”   So true.  I would add that an “Object in motion stays in motion until it runs out of energy or gets injured”

Listen to yourself, listen to your body.  It is YOUR body!!  You know it best.

This works except when one day off stretches into a week, stretches into a month.  I’ve done it so I know  🙂

So I went out today..did well, not far.  Maybe a little over a mile ( my Garmin needed a day off and a charge) so not sure how far I went.  It felt great.  And I was on my own to decide when to walk and when to run since Miss Garmin was resting.  Surprisingly  I ended up running more than walking!

And then I went to treat myself with a homemade chocolate chip cookie I had stashed in work bag.

I may be a little wiser when it comes to running but when it comes to cookies my dog, Max, is much smarter.  He was licking his chops when I got back and he wasn’t sorry in the least…well maybe a little but he rolled over for a belly rub so I am guessing he really wasn’t.

Max ate my cookie

Here’s to wisdom and chocolate chip cookies ( out of Max’s reach)!  Keep Triing!

 

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Finding joy in starting over…

I just went for a run.  The first in a very very long time.  The list of reasons is unbelievably long.  Everything from traveling, to bad weather, to hating the “dreadmill” to the simple “I don’t wanna do it”

Of course, when I decided enough was enough and it was time to get out there again I caught a nasty respiratory infection that sapped my energy.  I could barely walk the dog let alone run.

I was smart enough to take care of myself as I watched some glorious perfect running days ( 70’s, no humidiy, light breeze) pass me by and I proceeded to beat myself up for NOT running all the times I had the chance to run when I wasn’t coughing up a lung.

So today was the day to start over.  I knew I would pretty much be starting from scratch.  I set my Garmin to run 3 minutes, walk 1 and decided to do a whole mile.

HOWEVER  I also gave myself permission to let go of what could have been, all those missed running days, and all the running stamina I used to possess.  And most importantly I let go of my ego and gave myself permission to do what felt good.

I made it 2 minutes and decided I needed to walk.  I enjoyed the beautiful day.  I walked 2 minutes and then decided to try the run 3  walk 1 again.  It was amazing.  When my watch signaled it was time to walk I was surprised.

I did my mile ( well .95 of it according to Miss Garmin)  Makes no matter.  I did it.  You can too! It doesn’t have to be running.  Do what makes you feel good, walking, zumba, yoga, or biking.

Let go of the past and what could have been. Let go of what others think is a the “best” exercise, an impressive amount of miles, or time, or the best yoga poses or the hills you “have” to do to be considered a cyclist.

I have lots of running medals and yet today I feel more victorious than ever because I listened to myself and I did it just for me!

Find the joy in whatever you choose to do. It makes all the difference!

The courage to start

Keep Triing,

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It’s Thoughtful Thursday! Oh the difference a few seconds and a smile makes!

Posting this a day early..Happy 4th of July!!

Everyone loves the idea of Thougthful Thursday ( sending REAL mail) but not everyone does it.

And guess what? I get it.  It is not the easiest thing to do in this fast paced, send the e-mail or text and get a response right away world…

BUT…

It is so worth it and so appreciated.

So while I will continue to encourage you all to send a little piece of love via the mail there are also other things you can do that take seconds and will make your day and someone else’s a thoughtful one.

I made a list and feel free to add to it via the comments section.  Here goes:

  • Wave to everyone when you are walking, running, driving in your neighborhood or just out and about.  Doesn’t matter if you know them or not.  Just smile and wave.  It may be the only kind thing that person sees today.  I actually know someone who chose her neightborhood by how many people waved at her.
  • Hold the door for someone, hold the elevator, let someone into your lane of traffic
  • Be patient ( it is not their fault you are in a hurry)
  • Say something nice to someone.  I recently saw an older gentleman with his head down walking towards my favorite bookstore.  I held the door for him and complimented him on his bright green shirt.  The shift in his expression still makes me smile.  He brightened up, stood up straight and told me it was his favorite shirt.   The 10 seconds that took continues to pay me back.
  • Be nice to someone who rubs you the wrong way and you have to see often ( think co-worker, neighbor)  You don’t have to invite them to lunch but you may be rewarded with a better attitude from them and with people like this you may be the only one that offered them a hello or a kind word.
  • Stay off your phone when out and about  and pay attention to the world around you.  You will be rewarded with sights of flowers, random acts of kindness and opportunities to do the same.

I know there are tons more ways to make a make a difference in less than a minute of your time.  What may surprise you is the immensity of the reward YOU will receive.  A smile back, the amazing feeling that your kindness uplifted a stranger, the awareness and desire to do it daily and the reminder that there really are alot of good people out there that will pay your kindness forward or be there to uplift you when you need it.

Shared from my favorite running store Lucky Foot in Midlothian,VA

Shared from my favorite running store Lucky Foot in Midlothian,VA

www.luckyfoot.com

Now go out and make it a thoughtful one!

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My Relationship Status with the Treadmill: “It’s Complicated”

Dear Treadmill,

I need you, I want you, I dislike you intensely.  You are always there for me, calling me, acting coy.  You whisper sweet encouragement like:

  • I will go as fast or as slow as you want
  • Your running wish is my command
  • I have a fan for you and lots of buttons for you,the gadget queen
  • I will keep you warm and dry
  • I will hold your water and make it available at any time
  • Music or TV..whatever you wish
  • If I fall ill my friend is right next to me as my back up

So I succumb to your sweet whispers as it rains or snows or even in the dark of night.  And you…

BETRAY ME…with

  • confusing buttons that make me go faster than I want
  • boredom…the scenery never changes
  • throwing me off when I dared to lose concentration
  • throwing me off again when I dared to remove my jacket and forgot to keep running
  • video taping the whole thing ( I think you have a deal with American Funniest Home Videos)
  • no sympathy for my scraped hands and knees ( see above)  I swear I heard you chuckle

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And yet I can’t resist going back and giving,you, Miss Treadmill, another try.  We are getting better at getting along.

You haven’t thrown me off the last couple of times ( my knees and  hands thank you), I’m learning to push the right buttons and have outsmarted you by staying focused ( instead of being like the dog who suddenly sees “squirrel”)

After looking for a you tube video to post to this blog I now understand your reluctance to be nice.

I found people who abused  you by:

  • running on you with high heels ( yeah..I’d throw her off too in a nano second and you did )
  • trying to bike on you instead of run
  • running drunk ( no explanation needed on what happened there)
  • trying to jump on after you are already running at full speed
  • playing hopscotch on you and your friends ( jumping from one running treadmill to the next)

Here’s a link to some of  “those”  treadmill abusers:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4XFDweEgeU

So despite your attitude problem, Miss Treadmill, I will continue to try but in the meantime I have bad news.

The open road will always be my main squeeze…oh yeah!

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The Worst Excuse Yet for Not Exercising..but funny!

I’ve heard a lot of excuses for not exercising and I’ve come up with many on my own.  Some of the excuses are valid, others borderline on “the dog ate my homework” “the dog ate my running clothes, shoes, water bottle..”  Wait , judging from the puppies I have had that one might actually be true.  🙂

issues_chewing

The one I heard recently was the best yet.  Well maybe not the best but the fact that it came from a guy makes it pretty unbelievable.

If it came from a woman it might fly but only a little.

Am I being sexist here?  You bet!

Just to be clear, this is an absolutely true story.  Talked to the person who actually witnessed it.

So this guy goes to his boss and starts complaining about one of the guys that works out at the company gym around the same time he does.

The boss is listening to this guy  complain and the guy won’t shut up . He just drones on and on and finally makes his point.  The boss is multi tasking, sort of just humoring this chronic complainer while shuffling papers. When he hears his actual complaint he looks up and just says:

“Get Out”!

His complaint?  One of the guys on the treadmill smells so bad that it keeps Homer from being able to exercise.

I’m not sure which is funnier..that his boss told him to get out or his excuse for not exercising.

IT”S A GYM  If there is one place you can stink, it is THE GYM.  I stink in the gym..not as much as the guys but I know I do and it’s okay.

Now if the guy was sitting next to him at work and stinks..I get it..make the boss tell the guy to go shower and get some deodorant but its THE GYM!

smelly

When I heard this all I could think of was a bit comedian Jeff Foxworthy does about the difference between men and women and smells.  Women are totally grossed out.  Guys..well guys smell something like old gym clothes in a bag, and they say something like “Woohee that smells bad” and then walks over to his friend and says’ Hey Jimbo..ya want take a whiff”  like its a badge of honor.

I think the boss had it right.  If you can’t take the smell then “Get out”

I’m off to the gym.  If you need to find me I’ll be the stinky one.

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Let’s play “Where is Jenn?” on her Virtual Tri to Florida aka the UNamazing Race

I think it might be easier to find Waldo than to find me.  Trying to keep all my plates spinning in the air has been quite a challenge.  This virtual tri is quite the opposite of the Amazing Race.  The only amazing thing about it is that I am still determined to do it.

Hit a few roadblocks but I decided to declare this a “no whining, no excuse zone” so will just leave it at roadblocks.

Okay I will whine about one thing.  I usually love “springing forward” and daylight savings time but my body does not!  I should have been adjusted to the time change by the end of that week.   Instead there were a couple of times I would have paid big bucks to have that hour back.

Then, of course, we have the arrival of spring more winter.  We’ve had more snow in March than in any other month.  Ugh.

Guess that makes two whines!

I even did the treadmill and experienced bad treadmill karma.  You’ll have to wait on that story or perhaps see it on America’s Funniest Home Videos.

So my total mileage so far is 74.58   which means I am almost to the North Carolina border, somewhere on  US 301 S near Sussex Dr.

I truly thought I would be halfway there by now.  Maybe I need a new travel agent.

Swimming will be coming in April…indoors..where there is no snow, it’s warm and hopefully no mirrors 🙂

Who knows..I may find Waldo on my journey…wonder if he tri’s??
bldg

I guess he does!!

Keep Triing!!

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Asking for a do over as I begin again on my virtual triathlon

Well I had good intentions of starting my virtual triathlon from Virginia to Florida  on Jan 14th.  Well as they say:

Sh*&t Stuff happens, like life.

Also had good intentions of posting my progress on a weekly basis.  (see above)

Wish I could get a do over but lately I have been like a dog in a room full of squirrel, totally distracted and unproductive and  frustrated.

So  I never made it into the water, or on the road or on my bike the week of Jan 14th.

The good news is  I am now on a  roll and I am a movin and a groovin.   So without telling anyone I  humbly asked for a restart.

The new official start date was January 21st!  And as you can tell from today’s date ( Feb 11th) I am running behind in the updates.

My biggest hang-ups getting started ( aside from my chronic procrastination) were:

  • Getting the bike set up.
  • Getting over my love of being outdoors ( I really do grieve that)
  • My  hatred of treadmills.
  • Getting my butt to the pool.

Out of all of those the biggest frustration was the bike.  So it went something like this.

1. Clear a spot in our disaster of a basement for my bike.

2. Get bike trainer set up.  Watch video of how to do it ( I’ve done it once before but “poof” I forgot how)

3. Get ready to call Kinetic to tell them their video sucks because the set-up instructions are buried in one of the segments.

Phew!!  Ended up being easier than I thought.

4.  Realize this part of the basement is extremely warm. The rest of my house is chilly..what gives?

5.  Get on my bike and uh oh no way to track mileage.

6.  Get on google, get on Amazon..get what I need ordered, pay for 1 day  shipping.

7. Clean up basement =move all of the stuff from one room to another, move couches and desks by myself.  Call it a day.

8.  Watch it rain for the 6th day straight and wonder if I should be boating down to Florida.

9. Get cadence /mileage sensor.  Instructions suck.  Google comes in to rescue me.  Still can’t  figure it out.

10.  Clean  more  of   basement and decide SOMEONE in this family is a hoarder.

11.   Throw in the towel on the start of my virtual tri..

I FINALLY got the sensor installed on my bike.  The reviewers on Amazon were wrong or we have different ideas of what an easy set up  means.  I did learn what a crank shaft is and and a chain stay (not as exciting as it sounds!)

Here’s a photo of a bike on a trainer ( and yes I wear my clip in shoes)..tried one of me but the lighting in the old basement pretty much stinks!

bike trainer

So the good news is I DID get started.  The even better news is I LOVE being on my bike inside !  Who knew?  I have made it out to run but have yet to get to the pool although that is coming.

Ugh..the thought of putting on a swimsuit in February and not being in the tropics is not that appealing but it must be done.

So here is my total mileage as of Feb 11th.  I have traveled about 41 miles.  Which puts me somewhere on Ruffin Rd and of course still in Virginia.

I have about 50 more miles before I cross into North Carolina.  mmmm guess I had better get busy biking, running and swimming!

Keep Triing!

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